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From: TSS ()
Subject: R-CALF official: Group protecting American way of life
Date: May 31, 2005 at 8:53 am PST

R-CALF official: Group protecting American way of life
Posted May 31, 2005 - 10:19 AM


By JIM GRANSBERY
The Billings Gazette

On both sides of the U.S.-Canada border, the acronym R-CALF can invoke a string of epithets not printable in a family newspaper.
None of the nasty names, however, faze the founders of Rancher-Cattlemen's Action Legal Fund United Stockgrowers of America, an organization based in Billings that has more than 10,000 members.

That is R-CALF for short, as in "Our Calf." If that is protectionism, so be it, the founders say, because protecting the concerns of U.S. cow-calf producers is the exclusive aim of the organization that has taken on the role of David versus the Goliath governments on both sides of the 49th parallel.

"This is a producers organization that represents the interests of the cow-calf man and the independent feeder," said Herman Schumacher, who runs a livestock sale yard in Herreid, S.D.

Schumacher took up with the group founded in the late 1990s to stem the influx of Canadian and Mexican live cattle into the U.S. market at the expense of lower prices to U.S. cattlemen. R-CALF alleged illegal dumping by the neighbors north and south in cases filed with the U.S. International Trade Commission.

While most people in the cattle industry had heard of the organization, which operates outside the mainstream advocacy groups such as the National Cattlemen's Beef Association and the Montana Stockgrowers Association, R-CALF gained international attention March 2 when a federal judge in Billings sided took its side, telling the U.S. Department of Agriculture that it could not open the U.S. border on March 7 to Canadian live cattle under 30 months of age.

How could R-CALF and U.S. District Judge Richard Cebull do that?

"That's the beauty of this country," said Leo McDonnell, Jr., who lives just east of Columbus on old U.S. Highway 10. "Our system of checks and balances provides a last resort for citizens."

The last resort in this case was to prevent the U.S. government from reopening live cattle markets to Canadian exports because Canada has verified cases of bovine spongiform encephalopathy or "mad cow" disease in its western herd.

Two years ago this month, Canada announced it had discovered a cow in Alberta that tested positive for BSE, a brain wasting disease that devastated the beef producers in the United Kingdom in the early 1990s.

In May 2003, the United States closed its borders to all Canadian cattle and beef exports, later opening the U.S. markets to Canadian beef, but only boneless muscle cuts from animals less than 30 months old.

Then on Dec. 23, 2003, it was announced a cow in Washington state was found with BSE. Subsequently, that cow was determined to have come from Alberta. Nevertheless, countries importing U.S. beef shut their doors to further sales. Only Mexico, among the major buyers, has resumed its trade with the United States, while Japan is considering it. However, Japan's bureaucracy is moving with its usual deliberation to the great consternation of the USDA, the Bush administration and Congress.

The border closure has cost Canadian ranchers $5.7 billion, according to industry estimates, and a study released in April by the Kansas Agriculture Department says that U.S. ranchers, feeders, packers and wholesalers have lost between $3.2 billion and $4.7 billion in 2004 because of that one cow in Washington and the subsequent loss of the exports to Japan, Korea and Mexico etc.

Through 2004, the USDA worked up a protocol by which the trade in live cattle could be resumed between Canada and the United States. And last fall, President George W. Bush reassured Canada's Prime Minister Paul Martin the border would open soon.

In December, the USDA published its final rule on live cattle from Canada, arguing that they posed "minimum risk" to animal health and food safety in the United States. After a 60-day comment period, the border was to be reopened March 7.

In early January, Canada reported two new cases of BSE.

R-CALF filed suit, asking for a permanent injunction against the USDA opening the border, arguing that the risk of BSE to U.S. cattle and consumers was not minimal and that it was ignoring scientific evidence and international standards. A hearing on a preliminary injunction was set for March 2 in Billings.

Judge Cebull ordered the preliminary injunction from the bench and said he wanted to hear the whole case, setting July 27 for a hearing on a permanent injunction.

Typical of the reaction in Canada was that of Roy Rutledge of Assiniboia, Sask. In an interview with The Gazette, he tore into R-CALF as a "radical group that is perpetuating myth and fear mongering."

Rutledge raises cattle and also owns and operates an auction yard 60 miles north of the border, directly north of Glasgow. "I'm a little tired of this, BSE is not the issue, it's blow about politics. The United States can't compete."

In Canada's newspapers, such as the Lethbridge (Alberta) Herald, R-CALF is always preceded with the term "protectionist."

"If this is protectionism, I am not ashamed," said Kathleen Kelley of Meeker, Colo. "I am emotional about this because this rural way of life is worth protecting."

Kelley and her husband run a cow-calf operation. She got interested in the anti-dumping cases after doing some independent research and discovered that live cattle imports were counted as domestic production because they were slaughtered here in the United States.

"That meant we had a bigger import problem than was evident," she said. Kelley joined R-CALF because "I sensed a lot of people were desperate to be heard who were not being heard.

They were tired of traditional methods of working through industry groups like the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, she said. However, "There was no intent at that time to start a competition."

The beef association, while not part of the R-CALF suit, is not eager for the border to open without a list of preconditions.

During its winter meeting, the beef association, at the instigation of the Montana Stockgrowers Association, passed a resolution of 11 requirements it wanted the USDA to meet before any live cattle, 30 months old or less, are exported from Canada to the United States for slaughter.

McDonnell, 53, runs the Midland Bull Test founded by his father in 1962. Each year, ranchers from around the region who raise registered bulls consign their best animals to the McDonnell program.

A formulated ration is fed each day and the bulls are measured for rate of weight gain, feed efficiency, carcass development and fertility, all recorded in detail. McDonnell sells about 1,200 bulls each year, 800 or more at an annual spring sale.

Sitting under a map of the United States with colored dots showing where this year's bulls went, McDonnell brushes off the pejoratives tossed at R-CALF, not just by Canadians. Among the mildest are "protectionist," "obstructionist," "isolationist."

But lying S.O.B.?

"What we are doing is the same as what they (the USDA) have done to other countries with BSE," he said. "We all know the border is going to open, but the USDA has to base it on what is approved and practice by other countries."

Is the government of Canada so cynical as to poison its own people?

"I don't' think they are entirely honest with their consumers," he said. "What we want is international compliance under the same set of standards."

Kelley said Canada is ignoring the health safety of its own citizens.

"Absolutely. They are passing it off as insignificant," she said.

McDonnell denied the controversy is an economical issue for R-CALF. It has become a political issue.

The cost to R-CALF members for legal fees will be more than a than $1 million, he estimated.

"We have a plus balance sheet," he said. R-CALF has held fundraising auctions around the country. A recent event in Idaho garnered $50,000, he said. "The producers are frustrated with the handling of the affair by USDA."

Schumacher, 55, said he became an activist when he lost money in the whole-herd dairy buyout in 1986.

And, he has been fighting "the meatpacker control of the cash market through captive supply since 1994, he said. In 1996, he got involved with the antidumping cases which were eventually lost, costing him $1.2 million.

"On March 2-3, bids on live cattle went from $83 to $90 (per hundredweight)," he said "That's 9 percent in 30 hours. That is a personal victory over the packer. That is the ultimate!"

Schumacher said that when the BSE cow was found in Washington, fed cattle in the United States dropped from $91 to $ 74 per hundredweight in just a few days.

Kelley said the suit is about getting to the truth. Her opponents accuse R-CALF of playing loose with the facts, if not blatantly lying about the risk involved.

The American Meat Institute, which represents packers and processors, has accused R-CALF of using "blatantly false arguments about the safety of Canadian beef to perpetuate the embargo because they profit directly" from it.

The growing mood in Canada is reflected in comments to The Gazette by rancher Barry Boghean of Hazenmore, Sask.: Leave it (the border) closed. Let them close some packing plants in the United States and we can build some here in Canada."

That U.S. feeding and processing jobs would be exported to Canada is a fear also expressed by the American Meat Institute. Smaller packing plants in the United States have had trouble getting adequate supply of slaughter cattle and have reduced operations or closed.

The USDA is basing its "minimal" risk assessment on two studies by the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis at the Harvard School of Public Health. The center's conclusion was that even if infected animals or contaminated ruminant protein feed entered the American animal agricultural system from Canada, the risk of mad cow spreading extensively within the American herd would be low.

Also, that any possible spread would by now have been reversed by controls put in place in 1997 when both the United States and Canada banned the use of rendered ruminant protein in cattle feed. A failure to recall all feed that included rendered ruminant protein in 1997 is considered the source of Canada's current problem with BSE.

The first Harvard study was completed in 2001 and the second, on the request of USDA, was completed in the fall of 2003.

For her part Kelley is "disgusted with the university researchers (not just Harvard but the agriculture college scientists). They have abandoned the average cattlemen. That is an outrage.

"The border can be opened when safeguards are in place," Kelley said. "We should not lower our standards for any trade agreement."

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has asked the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco for an "emergency" hearing and a lifting of Cebull's preliminary injunction. However, the filing of briefs and replies will not be complete until after June 1. The appeals court has not scheduled a hearing on the emergency request and it is questionable if it will take any action before the July 27 hearing in Billings on R-CALF's request to make the injunction permanent.


http://www.montanaforum.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=2900&mode=thread&order=0&thold=0


THIS BSeee MRR POLICY OF GWs was nothing more than tool to get around human health safety. IT was nothing more than the legalization of trading all strains of TSEs globally. THE BSE GBR risk assessments must not be abandoned...TSS


EFSA Scientific Report on the Assessment of the Geographical BSE-Risk (GBR) of the United States of America (USA)
Publication date: 20 August 2004
Adopted July 2004 (Question N° EFSA-Q-2003-083)

Report

Summary
Summary of the Scientific Report

The European Food Safety Authority and its Scientific Expert Working Group on the Assessment of the Geographical Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) Risk (GBR) were asked by the European Commission (EC) to provide an up-to-date scientific report on the GBR in the United States of America, i.e. the likelihood of the presence of one or more cattle being infected with BSE, pre-clinically as well as clinically, in USA. This scientific report addresses the GBR of USA as assessed in 2004 based on data covering the period 1980-2003.

The BSE agent was probably imported into USA and could have reached domestic cattle in the middle of the eighties. These cattle imported in the mid eighties could have been rendered in the late eighties and therefore led to an internal challenge in the early nineties. It is possible that imported meat and bone meal (MBM) into the USA reached domestic cattle and leads to an internal challenge in the early nineties.

A processing risk developed in the late 80s/early 90s when cattle imports from BSE risk countries were slaughtered or died and were processed (partly) into feed, together with some imports of MBM. This risk continued to exist, and grew significantly in the mid 90’s when domestic cattle, infected by imported MBM, reached processing. Given the low stability of the system, the risk increased over the years with continued imports of cattle and MBM from BSE risk countries.

EFSA concludes that the current GBR level of USA is III, i.e. it is likely but not confirmed that domestic cattle are (clinically or pre-clinically) infected with the BSE-agent. As long as there are no significant changes in rendering or feeding, the stability remains extremely/very unstable. Thus, the probability of cattle to be (pre-clinically or clinically) infected with the BSE-agent persistently increases.


http://www.efsa.eu.int/science/efsa_scientific_reports/gbr_assessments/573_en.html


USA BSE GBR RAISED TO BSE GBR III

Working Group Report on the Assessment of the Geographical BSE-Risk (GBR
III) of USA 2004 ''extremely/very unstable BSE/cattle system''

USA

http://www.efsa.eu.int/science/efsa_scientific_reports/gbr_assessments/scr_annexes/574/sr03_biohaz02_usa_report_annex_en1.pdf>

CANADA

http://www.efsa.eu.int/science/efsa_scientific_reports/gbr_assessments/scr_annexes/563/sr02_biohaz02_canada_report_annex_en1.pdf

MEXICO

http://www.efsa.eu.int/science/efsa_scientific_reports/gbr_assessments/scr_annexes/566/sr04_biohaz02_mexico_report_annex_en1.pdf


Canada and the United States have been raised to level III (presence of BSE likely but not confirmed, or confirmed at a lower level) following a new assessment taking into account the most recent evidence. EFSAs Scientific Expert Working Group on geographic BSE risk assessment also evaluated the status of Mexico and South Africa which were classified as level III.

http://www.efsa.eu.int/press_room/press_release/575_en.html

European Food Safety Authority
20 August 2004
PRESS RELEASE
EFSA publishes Geographical BSE-Risk (GBR) assessments for
Australia, Canada, Mexico, Norway, South Africa, Sweden
and the United States of America
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has issued today seven up-to-date
scientific reports on the Geographical Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE)
Risk (GBR) assessments for Australia, Canada, Mexico, Norway, South Africa
Sweden and the United States of America. While Australias GBR level I (i.e.
presence of BSE in domestic cattle is highly unlikely) is maintained, that of Norway
has been raised to level II (presence of BSE unlikely but not excluded), Sweden
remains at GBR level II and those of Canada and the United States have been raised
to level III (presence of BSE likely but not confirmed, or confirmed at a lower level)
following a new assessment taking into account the most recent evidence. EFSAs
Scientific Expert Working Group on geographic BSE risk assessment also evaluated
the status of Mexico and South Africa which were classified as level III.
In 2003 EFSA was requested by the European Commission (EC) to re-assess the
Geographical Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) risk (GBR) for 13 countries:
Australia, Botswana, Canada, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Namibia, Norway,
Mexico, Panama, Swaziland, Sweden and the United States. Although the European
Commission did not specifically seek advice from EFSA relating to the appearance of
BSE in South Africa, the working group decided to carry out a risk assessment for this
country under a self-tasking mandate in order to allow for a meaningful evaluation of the
three other countries in the Southern African Region for which a GBR assessment was
requested (i.e. Botswana, Namibia, Swaziland). EFSAs Scientific Expert Working
Group on the Assessment of the GBR has completed to date those assessments relating to
Australia, Canada, Mexico, Norway, South Africa, Sweden and the United States of
America. The GBR assessments for the remaining countries will be finalized by the end
of 2004.
In conducting the GBR assessments, EFSAs GBR working group followed the
methodology developed by the former Scientific Steering Committee of DG Health and
Consumer Safety (DG SANCO) of the European Commission which is described in its
final opinion on GBR assessment1. The risk assessments published today are based on
up-to-date data provided by the countries concerned as well as other sources of data (i.e.
Eurostat and country export data) covering the period of 1980 to 2003.
A detailed analysis for each country is presented in the Scientific Reports which can be
found at:
http://www.efsa.eu.int/science/efsa_scientific_reports/gbr_assessments/catindex_en.html
For media enquiries, please contact:
Carola Sondermann, Senior Press Officer
Tel: +32 2 337 2294
Carola.Sondermann@efsa.eu.int
Or EFSA Communications Director, Anne-Laure Gassin
Tel: +32 2 337 2248
Anne-Laure.Gassin@efsa.eu.int
For more background information about the European Food Safety Authority, go to:
http://www.efsa.eu.int/
Notes to editors
1. The Geographical BSE-Risk (GBR) is a qualitative indicator of the likelihood of the
presence of one or more cattle being infected with BSE, pre-clinically as well as
1 Final opinion on the Geographical Risk of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (GBR) (Adopted on 6
July 2000). http://europa.eu.int/comm/food/fs/sc/ssc/out113_en.pdf
Updated opinion on the Geographical Risk of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (GBR) (adopted on 11
January 2002). http://europa.eu.int/comm/food/fs/sc/ssc/out243_en.pdf
clinically, at a given point in time, in a country. Where its presence is confirmed, the
GBR gives an indication of the level of infection.
2. The GBR assessments are based on information submitted by countries concerned in
response to a European Commission recommendation in 1998 setting out the information
requirements for such an assessment.2 The information concerns in particular imports of
bovines and meat and bone meal (MBM) from the United Kingdom and other BSE-risk
countries, rendering standards for animal by-products, use of so called Specified Risk
Materials (SRMs), feeding of MBM to ruminants etcetera.
3. The table below shows the current GBR levels of the seven countries assessed by
EFSA so far, as well as their former classification where available.
GBR
level
Presence of one or more cattle clinically or
pre-clinically infected with the BSE agent in
a geographical region/country
GBR of the country/Region
Current status
(status before)
I Highly unlikely
Australia (I)
II Unlikely but not excluded
Norway (I), Sweden (II)
III Likely but not confirmed or confirmed at a
lower level
Canada (II), Mexico (N/A),
South Africa (N/A), USA (II)
IV Confirmed at a higher level
N/A= not applicable, i.e. not assessed before
2 Preliminary-opinion on a method to assess the geographical BSE-Risk of Countries or Regions (adopted
on 10 December 1998). http://europa.eu.int/comm/food/fs/sc/ssc/out35_en.html

http://www.efsa.eu.int/press_room/press_release/575/pr_biohaz02_gbr_en1.pdf

EFSA Scientific Report on the Assessment of the Geographical BSE-Risk (GBR) of the United States of America (USA)

Adopted July 2004 (Question N° EFSA-Q-2003-083)
[20 August 2004]

http://www.efsa.eu.int/science/efsa_scientific_reports/gbr_assessments/573_en.html

EFSA Scientific Report on the Assessment of the Geographical BSE-Risk (GBR) of the United States of America (USA)
Publication date: 20 August 2004

Adopted July 2004 (Question N° EFSA-Q-2003-083)

* 167 kB Report

* 105 kB Summary


Summary of the Scientific Report

The European Food Safety Authority and its Scientific Expert Working Group on the Assessment of the Geographical Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) Risk (GBR) were asked by the European Commission (EC) to provide an up-to-date scientific report on the GBR in the United States of America, i.e. the likelihood of the presence of one or more cattle being infected with BSE, pre-clinically as well as clinically, in USA. This scientific report addresses the GBR of USA as assessed in 2004 based on data covering the period 1980-2003.

The BSE agent was probably imported into USA and could have reached domestic cattle in the middle of the eighties. These cattle imported in the mid eighties could have been rendered in the late eighties and therefore led to an internal challenge in the early nineties. It is possible that imported meat and bone meal (MBM) into the USA reached domestic cattle and leads to an internal challenge in the early nineties.

A processing risk developed in the late 80s/early 90s when cattle imports from BSE risk countries were slaughtered or died and were processed (partly) into feed, together with some imports of MBM. This risk continued to exist, and grew significantly in the mid 90s when domestic cattle, infected by imported MBM, reached processing. Given the low stability of the system, the risk increased over the years with continued imports of cattle and MBM from BSE risk countries.

EFSA concludes that the current GBR level of USA is III, i.e. it is likely but not confirmed that domestic cattle are (clinically or pre-clinically) infected with the BSE-agent. As long as there are no significant changes in rendering or feeding, the stability remains extremely/very unstable. Thus, the probability of cattle to be (pre-clinically or clinically) infected with the BSE-agent persistently increases.

http://www.efsa.eu.int/science/efsa_scientific_reports/gbr_assessments/573_en.html

SUMMARY

javascript:popwindow('http://www.efsa.eu.int/science/efsa_scientific_reports/gbr_assessments/573/sr03_biohaz02_usa_report_summary_en1.pdf',750,480,1,0,1,0,0,1,1,0)

REPORT USA

http://www.efsa.eu.int/science/efsa_scientific_reports/gbr_assessments/573/sr03_biohaz02_usa_report_v2_en1.pdf

http://www.efsa.eu.int/science/efsa_scientific_reports/gbr_assessments/scr_annexes/574/sr03_biohaz02_usa_report_annex_en1.pdf


EFSA Scientific Report on the Assessment of the Geographical BSE-Risk (GBR) of Australia

Adopted July 2004 (Question N° EFSA-Q-2003-083)

[20 August 2004]

EFSA Scientific Report on the Assessment of the Geographical BSE-Risk (GBR) of Canada

Adopted July 2004 (Question N° EFSA-Q-2003-083)

[20 August 2004]

EFSA Scientific Report on the Assessment of the Geographical BSE-Risk (GBR) of Mexico

Adopted July 2004 (Question N° EFSA-Q-2003-083)

[20 August 2004]

EFSA Scientific Report on the Assessment of the Geographical BSE-Risk (GBR) of Norway

Adopted July 2004 (Question N° EFSA-Q-2003-083)

[20 August 2004]

EFSA Scientific Report on the Assessment of the Geographical BSE-Risk (GBR) of South Africa

Adopted July 2004 (Question N° EFSA-Q-2003-074)

[20 August 2004]

EFSA Scientific Report on the Assessment of the Geographical BSE-Risk (GBR) of Sweden

Adopted July 2004 (Question N° EFSA-Q-2003-083)

[20 August 2004]

EFSA Scientific Report on the Assessment of the Geographical BSE-Risk (GBR) of the United States of America (USA)

Adopted July 2004 (Question N° EFSA-Q-2003-083)

[20 August 2004]

http://www.efsa.eu.int/science/efsa_scientific_reports/gbr_assessments/catindex_en.html

From: Terry S. Singeltary Sr. [flounder@wt.net]
Sent: Tuesday, July 29, 2003 1:03 PM
To: fdadockets@oc.fda.gov
Cc: ggraber@cvm.fda.gov; Linda.Grassie@fda.gov; BSE-L
Subject: Docket No. 2003N-0312 Animal Feed Safety System [TSS SUBMISSION
TO DOCKET 2003N-0312]

Greetings FDA,

snip...

PLUS, if the USA continues to flagrantly ignore the _documented_ science to date about the known TSEs in the USA (let alone the undocumented TSEs in cattle), it is my opinion, every other Country that is dealing with BSE/TSE should boycott the USA and demand that the SSC reclassify the USA BSE GBR II risk assessment to BSE/TSE GBR III 'IMMEDIATELY'. for the SSC to _flounder_ any longer on this issue, should also be regarded with great suspicion as well. NOT to leave out the OIE and it's terribly flawed system of disease surveillance. the OIE should make a move on CWD in the USA, and make a risk assessment on this as a threat to human health. the OIE should also change the mathematical formula for testing of disease. this (in my opinion and others) is terribly flawed as well. to think that a sample survey of 400 or so cattle in a population of 100 million, to think this will find anything, especially after seeing how many TSE tests it took Italy and other Countries to find 1 case of BSE (1 million rapid TSE test in less than 2 years, to find 102 BSE cases), should be proof enough to make drastic changes of this system. the OIE criteria for BSE Country classification and it's interpretation is very problematic. a text that is suppose to give guidelines, but is not understandable, cannot be considered satisfactory. the OIE told me 2 years ago that they were concerned with CWD, but said any changes might take years. well, two years have come and gone, and no change in relations with CWD as a human health risk. if we wait for politics and science to finally make this connection, we very well may die before any decisions
or changes are made. this is not acceptable. we must take the politics and the industry out of any final decisions of the Scientific community. this has been the problem from day one with this environmental man made death sentence. some of you may think i am exaggerating, but you only have to see it once, you only have to watch a loved one die from this one time, and you will never forget, OR forgive...yes, i am still very angry... but the transmission studies DO NOT lie, only the politicians and the industry do... and they are still lying to this day...TSS


http://www.fda.gov/ohrms/dockets/dockets/03n0312/03N-0312_emc-000001.txt

THE HARVARD STUDY WAS BOUGHT AND PAID FOR BY YOUR LOCAL CATTLE DEALER.
THE SUPPRESSED PEER REVEIW OF THE HARVARD STUDY, says it all ;

http://www.fsis.usda.gov/oa/topics/BSE_Peer_Review.pdf

http://www.fsis.usda.gov/oa/topics/BSE_Peer_Review.pdf suppressed peer review of Harvard study October 31, 2002

Terry S. Singeltary Sr. P.O. BOX 42 Bacliff, TEXAS USA






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